Should You Be Using Facial Cleanser on Other Parts of Your Body?

An off-the-shoulder season investigation.

Design by Dana Tepper

Over half of the people who suffer from facial acne have body acne as well. And with summer on the horizon, it's time to give our chest, back, shoulders, and wherever else the same TLC (tender loving clean). Your chic off-the-shoulder top moments hang in the balance.

A natural, easy enough solution would be re-purposing your face wash. But is it is as simple as bringing your choice cleanser into the shower with you? Short answer: Yes, according to Rachel Nazarian, M.D., at Schweiger Dermatology Group.

"Since facial skin is much more sensitive than the skin on the trunk and body, there's really no issue with using facial products on the body for acne," explains Nazarian. "Whether you're using a bar, liquid, or scrub on your body, acne prone areas like the shoulders and back can handle cleansers without a problem. Because of daily pollutants and the sweat and oil that skin produces, it's best to use products for body acne on a daily basis. "

As far as targeting acne, the key is to look for ingredients—like salicylic acid and benzyl peroxide—that can tackle oil, dirt, and bacteria that can accumulate under clothing. Our tried-and-true editor favorites include:

1. Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser, $32;

2. Clinique 'Acne Solutions' Cleansing Gel, $20;

3. CeraVe Unscented Foaming Facial Cleanser, $10.79;

4 Other Ways to Prevent Body Acne

1. During the hot summer months, it's best to stick to breathable fabrics like cotton. "Try to avoid more occlusive products like polyblend shirts that can trap heat and sweat on the skin," advises Nazarian.

2. "If you're going to be running around and the weather is really hot and humid, keep cleansing wipes around so that you can quickly wipe off sweat and dirt that are sitting on skin," she says. Nazarian's drugstore favorites are Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths.

3. It's not just your face that need its beauty sleep—you need to be mindful of the conditions for your body too. "Allow for a comfortable temperature in the bedroom and use sheets with breathable fabrics, no flannel or fleece, so that your skin can stay cool and dry while you sleep," she explains.

4. Sunscreen can be a total pore clogger, which is why oil free and non-comedogenic formulas are the way to go if you're acne prone. Try: Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control SPF 30.

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